Multicultural Literature

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by dakomiro
Last updated 6 years ago

Language Arts

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Multicultural Literature


Multicultural Literature

By Dakota Grealy-Miró


It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own. -Katherine Patterson



African American


Native American


This work by Carmen Tafolla depicts a routine that a young Mexican-American child looks foward to, waiting for a paleta. With rich, colorful illustartions and simple prose, this book is great for young children in understanding that even though our cultures and food may be different, we can relate to one another and share comparable experiences, no matter how small.

Of all the colorful birds, the black bird is the most beautfiul. Ashley Bryan uses rhythmic prose to tell a story of finding the beauty within and how everyone should take pride in himself. This is a great allegorical tale that anyone can relate to despite its Zambian roots. This book is great for younger readers, as well as those in fourth and fifth grade.

This novel follows a young girl, Georgina, who is living in a car with her mother and brother. After she decides that stealing a dog and receiving the reward money is her only option. This is a great story to use for discussion on a topic that many teachers do not discuss in the classroom, homelessness and low socioeconomic status. The novel is suited for readers in third grade and up, provides a first-hand perspective that more students may relate to than we realize.

While this book is definietly meant for 8th graders and up, it is one that should still be introduced to students because it is a culture that students are less exposed to. Dimple's parents are from India and even though they live in America, they remain true to their values and traditions much to their daughter's dismay. Dimple wants to live as normal a life as possible and disregard tradition. This is a wonderful story about taking pride in one's culture and the journey to self-discovery.

It's hard to imagine a picture book without color. In Menena Cottin's book, she gives readers with sight an idea of what blind readers face. Therefore, the reader must rely more heavily on his other senses. This is a very interactive book and can be used with kindergarteners in small groups or individually with older readers. This book could be used as an introduction to one type of disability and teaching students perspective.

This is a unique story of a bear owned by a Jewish boy before the start of World War II. After Otto's owner gives him to a good friend to stay safe during the war, Otto is faced with many obstacles. This book is a good way to introduce the Holocaust to new learners. While it does not discuss many Jewish traditions, it provides some background on the differences between those persecuted during World War II without overwhelming them. Young children will also like the fresh perspective, one of a teddy bear.

This is a story that focuses on the importance of pride in oneself as well as one's culture while assimilating to American culture. On the fourth of July, a Chinese-American girl does not understand why her parents are cooking cultural food on a day celebrating America. This is a story meant for kindergarteners to second graders. The prose may be hard for younger children to understand unless read to, but it is very simple.

This is a wonderful book because it contains thirteen poems written by Native Americans from different tribes. While it has first-hand accounts, it also demonstartes Native American tribes as unique and diverse. A wonderful book for cultural awareness and one that could be used on a thematice study on poetry.


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